The Common Green Lacewing (Chrysoperia carnea) is an insect in the Chrysopidae family of lacewings.
The Common Green Lacewing is pale green with long, threadlike antennae and compound eyes. It turns yellowish-brown in winter. The wings are delicate and veined (membranous), which makes them look like lace. The wings are also translucent (see through) with a slight iridescent sheen.
It grows to about 1-2 centimetres (one inch) in length.
It is common throughout Europe and North America. It is seen almost all year round, but mostly in spring and summer from May to September in the Northern Hemisphere. It usually spends winter buried in leaf litter.
Although it has wings, it is a week flier. It is often seen at night, attracted to light, but it is also crepuscular (seen at dawn and dusk).
The adult feeds on nectar and pollen from flowers, and aphid honeydew.
The female Common Green Lacewing lays eggs on plant leaves and shoots. The eggs hatch into larvae after 3-6 days. The larvae eat invertebrates, such as aphids, thrips, mites, whitefly, caterpillars, and the eggs of insects. They moult as they grow larger. About 14-21 days later, each larva spins a circular cocoon and pupates. It emerges from the cocoon after 10-14 days as an adult lacewing.
Location of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM